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  • Unsung ­— Mahoney P and the Origins of Hiplife in Ghana

    Unsung ­— Mahoney P and the Origins of Hiplife in Ghana

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    Image credit: Album sleeve of ‘Ebe Ye Yie’ released in 1994 Unsung ­— Mahoney P and the Origins of Hiplife in Ghana A few weeks ago, the death of Mahoney P was reported. Really, this was his second death. The first persists in the ghost treatment he receives when the history …
  • “Why is our hair alien to us?”: A journey to owning my natural hair

    “Why is our hair alien to us?”: A journey to owning my natural hair

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    “Why is our hair alien to us?”: A journey to owning my natural hair “Why is your hair permed,” my supervisor asked. “It’s easier to manage,” I said without really thinking through the response but then I was taken aback when my supervisor asked, “why should it be easier to …
  • KOJO CUE’S ‘FOR MY BROTHERS’ — The Progressive Album of the Year

    KOJO CUE’S ‘FOR MY BROTHERS’ — The Progressive Album of the Year

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    Album Cover of Kojo Cue’s ‘For my Brothers’ KOJO CUE’S ‘FOR MY BROTHERS’ — The Progressive Album of the Year In November 2019, Kojo Cue released his debut album, ‘For My Brothers’. But as typical of deeply reflective albums, this album does not have too many street bangers to generate …
  • WHAT CAN’T WE JOKE ABOUT? OPINIONS ON OB AMPONSAH’S ‘MAHAMA’ SAGA

    WHAT CAN’T WE JOKE ABOUT? OPINIONS ON OB AMPONSAH’S ‘MAHAMA’ SAGA

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    The comedian, OB Amponsah WHAT CAN’T WE JOKE ABOUT? OPINIONS ON OB AMPONSAH’S ‘MAHAMA’ QUIP The star comedian, OB Amponsah told an ‘expensive joke’ at this year’s December to Remember Concert. At the heart of the joke was the idea that names have implications for those who bear them. He …
  • The Woman’s Buttocks and the Helpless Man — Reading Medikal’s lyric “aboa, wo to nono”

    The Woman’s Buttocks and the Helpless Man — Reading Medikal’s lyric “aboa, wo to nono”

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    The Woman’s Buttocks and the Helpless Man – Reading Medikal’s lyric, “aboa, wo to nono” Aboa, wo to nono is Medikal’s opening line for his verse in the song ‘Boys Kasa’ by R2Bees featuring Kwesi Arthur, Darkovibes, B4bonah, Humble Dis, King Promise, Spacely, Medikal and Rjz.   Spoken in an …
  • Ayesha Haruna Attah’s ‘A Hundred Wells of Salaga’ and Historical Fiction in Northern Ghana: A Review

    Ayesha Haruna Attah’s ‘A Hundred Wells of Salaga’ and Historical Fiction in Northern Ghana: A Review

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    Ayesha Haruna Attah’s ‘A Hundred Wells of Salaga’ and Historical Fiction in Northern Ghana: A Review It is clear that a lot of research went into the writing of Ayesha Haruna Attah’s The Hundred Wells of Salaga. This novel is a very good entry into historical fiction set in the …
  • ‘You are a Villager’: An insult to unlearn

    ‘You are a Villager’: An insult to unlearn

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    ‘You are a Villager’: An insult to unlearn “I’m from far away. That’s why”.  The legendary late comedian, Super OD famously espoused this theory in a movie. The words supposedly crafted for the purposes of humour, mirrored a popular and longstanding depiction of the Ghanaian non-urban. For the avid fan …
  • ‘Villager’ and the rise of local orientalism in Ghana’s everyday discourse

    ‘Villager’ and the rise of local orientalism in Ghana’s everyday discourse

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    ‘Villager’ and the rise of local orientalism in Ghana’s everyday discourse  As a heuristic device, ‘akurase/akuraseni’ (village and villager/villageness) to all its intents and purposes describes that which is small (town) and unacceptable (behaviour). Why then has that which is unacceptable and small become placed-based, fixed and immutable in the …
  • The Delay Show: A love and hate relationship

    The Delay Show: A love and hate relationship

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    The Delay Show: A love and hate relationship I like that Delay brazenly asks questions which others sidestep or are too afraid to ask. On the other hand, the manner in which she conducts her interviews are most often downright disrespectful to her guests and yet, I like many others, …
  • The BBC’s #SexForGrades Video: We are the ones entrapped

    The BBC’s #SexForGrades Video: We are the ones entrapped

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    The BBC’s #SexForGrades Video: We are the ones entrapped Like many others, I was disappointed that in the case of the two Ghanaian lecturers, the specific claim of ‘sex for grades’ was not proven by the BBC documentary. The disappointment was founded on years of dismay and angst from hearing …
  • From Eco-Friendly to Eco-Trendy: Kofi Kinaata merges music and environmentalism

    From Eco-Friendly to Eco-Trendy: Kofi Kinaata merges music and environmentalism

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    Image/Graphic from: Kofi Kinaata’s ‘Illegal Fishing’ Video From Eco-Friendly to Eco-Trendy: Kofi Kinaata merges music and environmentalism Kofi Kinaata is popular for his eloquent use of “Taadi Mfantse” (Takoradi version of Fante-Twi) in his often upbeat music. Born, though not raised in Takoradi myself, I fell in love with Kinaata’s …
  • Misery, the Patient and the Medicine Man… (A short story on social media and Us)

    Misery, the Patient and the Medicine Man… (A short story on social media and Us)

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    Misery, the Patient and the Medicine Man (A short story on Social Media and Us) I chanced upon him and he looked miserable. His eyes begged for comfort, the kind couched as an advice or better, as a revelation. So I thought. My possibly right judgment if not acted upon …
  • Pae mu ka @ 20: A Sound of our time

    Pae mu ka @ 20: A Sound of our time

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    Pae mu ka @ 20: A Sound of our time In the early nineties, political liberalization and the gradual restoration of freedom in Ghana led to the revival of a dormant music landscape. Young artistes were drawing inspiration from American Hip Hop icons like Tupac, and Naughty by Nature. Mahoney …
  • #Skopatomana: The Meaningful Brilliance in Patapaa’s Meaningless Lyrics

    #Skopatomana: The Meaningful Brilliance in Patapaa’s Meaningless Lyrics

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    #Skopatomana: The Meaningful Brilliance in Patapaa’s Meaningless Lyrics Some few weeks ago, the Swedru-based Hiplife Artiste, Patapaa, got the #SkopatomanaChallenge trending on social media. He had been featured by an upcoming artiste in a song, Daavi, and in his rap verse, Patapaa decided to deliver what is clearly bars of …
  • Rethinking the Career Day Celebration in Basic Schools

    Rethinking the Career Day Celebration in Basic Schools

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    Rethinking the Career Day Celebration in Basic Schools Marking of career day in schools has fast become a common practice in many nursery, kindergarten and basic schools in Ghana. For what it signifies, the day offers school children an explicable connection between their would-be long academic experience and their career. …
  • From The Late MP’s Widow to Bloody Widow: Roaming the realms of language and gender

    From The Late MP’s Widow to Bloody Widow: Roaming the realms of language and gender

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    From The Late MP’s Widow to Bloody Widow: Roaming the realms of language and gender The Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-elections held on 31st January, 2019 witnessed some regrettable brutalities meted out by state security to civilians. The election violence has opened yet another floodgate for political party activists to …
  • Shatta Wale x Donald Trump: A rulebook on Power

    Shatta Wale x Donald Trump: A rulebook on Power

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    Shatta Wale x Donald Trump: A rulebook on Power This essay is interested in the similarities in the rise of Shatta Wale and of Donald Trump — both of these men are at the top of their music and political careers respectively, although not too long ago, their said careers …
  • Celebrity Endorsements: The other Menzgold Issue

    Celebrity Endorsements: The other Menzgold Issue

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    Celebrity Endorsements: The other Menzgold Issue In a country with a weak royalties and copyrights regime, product endorsement is more straightforward a revenue stream for celebrities. Sometimes these endorsements work out so well that, for years, we cannot help but remember both the product and the celebrity in the same …
  • “We know what is good for you”: Ageism and Decision-making in Ghanaian Universities

    “We know what is good for you”: Ageism and Decision-making in Ghanaian Universities

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    Image/Graphic credit: watsuptek “We know what is good for you”: Ageism and Decision-making in Ghanaian Universities Do you want to know a very popular Akan proverb? “You are but a child, when you see the eye of a crab, you think it is a stick”. Years ago, Ghanaian universities were …
  • The name of my Mother’s Salon was Black Beauty

    The name of my Mother’s Salon was Black Beauty

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    Photo credit: Yoway Hairtique The name of my Mother’s Salon was Black Beauty At the extreme right of the stores that hedged the market square of my hometown from the busy Kumasi-Sunyani road was my mother’s salon. Painted dark green with white diagonal stripes, the salon bore a big signage. …
  • The ‘Obroni’ endearment is very wrong

    The ‘Obroni’ endearment is very wrong

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    Photo Credit: Akosua Adoma Owusu The ‘obroni’ endearment is very wrong I recently read Halifu Osumare’s book ‘The Hiplife in Ghana’. Early on in the book, the author, an African-american woman recounts her experience some years ago in Ghana. Osumare had been referred to as “obroni” and she chose to …
  • Dear Quartz Africa, to the many histories Afrobeats. Cheers.

    Dear Quartz Africa, to the many histories Afrobeats. Cheers.

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    Graphic credit: Tina Magazine Dear Quartz Africa, to the many histories Afrobeats. Cheers. In order to counter The New Yorker feature on Afrobeats, the Quartz does something funnier. It takes a myth and invites us for a discussion. Naw, let it pass. To continuously attribute afrobeat to Fela is really …
  • .Concerning the Women (A Look-beyond at Two Music Videos).

    .Concerning the Women (A Look-beyond at Two Music Videos).

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    Consider this: you’re a company driver. one morning, whilst driving a company vehicle, a call comes through your phone, and you receive it. you’re still on the phone when you sight a ‘fine, fine lady’ (with a rather large derriere.) you follow with your eyes, and before you realize, there …
  • Blɛ be Blɛ! Home be Home! – Maintaining our Own through Gh Music

    Blɛ be Blɛ! Home be Home! – Maintaining our Own through Gh Music

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    Blɛ be Blɛ! Home be Home! – Maintaining our Own through Gh Music Ei Kojo, e be your kiddies that? Yea, dem be Nii den Ayele. Nice! Ayele, te tɛɛ? Ma guy, dem no dey hear Ga ooo, e be blɛ pɛ dem know. How?!?! Man, I shock give you …
  • The Social Construction of the Ghanaian Police Officer

    The Social Construction of the Ghanaian Police Officer

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    Image from: Tilapia / http://3news.com/cartoon-scrubbing-to-restore-public-confidence/ The Social Construction of the Ghanaian Police Officer Growing up, one of the strategies some parents used to “put the fear of God” in us when we went wrong was to threaten a call to the police. “If you don’t finish your food, I will …
  • Felicia Abban: Remembering the Woman in all the Portraits

    Felicia Abban: Remembering the Woman in all the Portraits

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    Photos: Accra: Portraits of a City, 4th March 2017- 1st April 2017, ANO, Osu. / Laurian R. Bowles (2015) Felicia Abban: Remembering the Woman in all the Portraits In the 1950s, an 18-year old Felicia Abban came to this gendered confluence of a national space called Accra. Married to Robert Abban …
  • A nascent Music Industry Promises to Reshape Social Norms in Northern Ghana

    A nascent Music Industry Promises to Reshape Social Norms in Northern Ghana

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    Photo of Rock City (Credit: Rock City Empire) A Nascent Music Industry Promises to Reshape Social Norms in Northern Ghana When a Tamale-based artiste won the popular song of the year category at the 2017 Ghana Music Awards, many Ghanaians were surprised. Their astonishment follows the fact that for the …
  • #IAmANAS! No, You Are Not: A Country, A Man, A Veil and A Recorder

    #IAmANAS! No, You Are Not: A Country, A Man, A Veil and A Recorder

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    Rapper Dadie Opanka dressed as Anas in the video for his song, I AM ANAS #IAmANAS! No, you are not: A country, a man, a veil and a recorder In the last few months, the Ghanaian news media has been dominated by the investigative report on football operations in the …
  • Waist Shapers and the Fashioning of the Ghanaian Woman’s Body Ideal

    Waist Shapers and the Fashioning of the Ghanaian Woman’s Body Ideal

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    Photo Credit: Anny Kareem-Abdi Osabutey (Facebook Page, 2018) Waist Shapers and the Fashioning of the Ghanaian Woman’s Body Ideal ROUND BUTTOCKS POMADE AVAILABLEINSTANT FLAT STOMACHSMALL WAIST, BIG HIPSREDUCE 3 INCHES IN 3 MINUTES… Beauty ideals are not set in stone; they are fluid, constantly changing and usually influenced by sociocultural contexts. …
  • Public Debates in Ghana and the “It-Does-Not-Put-Food-on-the-Table” Narrative

    Public Debates in Ghana and the “It-Does-Not-Put-Food-on-the-Table” Narrative

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    Photo credit: Tilapia Public Debates in Ghana and the “It-Does-Not-Put-Food-on-the-Table” Narrative If you are like me with the somewhat high moral pretension that there is a definitely strong linkage between a people’s choice of diction and their perceptions of socio-political life, you’ll probably notice that much of our national discourse on …